State Delegate Introduces Legislation to Limit Use of Drones
Maryland State Delegate Aruna Miller of Montgomery County (D-15th District) said she is sponsoring legislation to protect residents from the unauthorized use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (also known as drones) surveillance.
“While the emergence of this technology is exciting and holds great promise, it also raises significant concerns about its potential use for unauthorized surveillance on an individual’s privacy,” said Miller in a news release.
The bill (HB 620) prevents state agencies from conducting surveillance using drones without first obtaining a warrant. There are exceptions in the bill for drone use during emergency response situations and for search and rescue. The bill further makes it illegal for private citizens to use drones to eavesdrop on their neighbors.
“It’s my hope that with the commonsense measures provided in this bill, citizens will be able to enjoy the benefits that drone technology can provide with the peace of mind that their privacy is not being infringed upon,” Miller said.
According to Miller, the rapid development of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) technology over the past several years has decreased the price and accessibility of drone technology. She notes that small portable UAS equipped with GPS systems and cameras are now available for consumer purchase with price points hovering just over one thousand dollars.
Testimony on HB 620 is scheduled to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee at 1 p.m. on March 17.
Miller represents the areas of Potomac, Germantown, Poolesville, Bethesda, and Clarksburg.